Studies like the one reported above underscore why fitness professionals need to get involved in combating childhood obesity through grassroots community efforts designed to get kids moving and eating properly. One way you can make a difference is through Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK), a new nationwide initiative designed to improve the health of children through better nutrition and physical activity programs in schools.
In February, Congress finalized a 20 percent increase in funding for the Physical Education for Progress program, since renamed the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP). The increase will translate to $60 million in grant money for fiscal year 2003 for local school districts and community organizations. This amount represents an increase of $10 million over last year’s PEP allocation.
For the third straight year, athletic footwear sales have increased, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) International’s 2003 edition of The Athletic Footwear Market Today, a trade publication that tracks retail spending trends. American consumers spent almost $16 billion on athletic shoes in 2002, an increase of 2.5 percent over the previous year. Here are some other trends reported by SGMA:
Since we officially launched our campaign to Inspire the World to Fitness™ earlier this year, IDEA members have let us know how seriously they take this mission. Below are some of the comments we have received since January.
NEW LIFESTYLES Inc., a company committed to fostering healthy lifestyles, is attempting to stir the public to fitness through one central philosophy: Take 10,000 steps every day. The company asserts that doing that can do wonders for one’s health by burning 2,000 to 3,500 extra calories per week, increasing one’s levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol and providing other benefits.
In 1993 Brandon Flowers made a major career change. A catastrophe claims representative and supervisor for years, when the corporate climate shifted in a new direction, Brandon decided he would, too. This former college shot-putter and discus thrower had never lost touch with his active lifestyle, and since moving to California he had discovered personal fitness training. “This attracted my attention as a unique way to motivate people toward a healthier lifestyle, and also an opportunity to be a teacher and mentor,” Brandon says.
To look at Joan Tufenkjian today, you’d never suspect she was once completely outside the realm of fitness. The 70-year-old group fitness instructor is the epitome of health and wellness, and her class participants at the Mount Auburn Club in Watertown, Massachusetts, depend on her for instruction and guidance. She is an instant inspiration to many, based solely on the fact that she is teaching group fitness at an age when others reconcile themselves to a less active lifestyle. However, Joan wasn’t born with a pair of cross trainers on her feet.